I love chocolate. In fact, I eat it every night. Two squares. It’s what I look forward to almost EVERY…SINGLE…DAY, and honestly, it keeps me sane! I’ve cut out all dairy and sugar (as well as a variety of other inflammatory foods), but even though I was buying organic 70% or higher dark chocolate, it STILL had sugar in it’s ingredients. I had to figure out a way to be true to my health by eliminating ALL added sugar from my diet without eliminating this pleasure-deriving food I loved so much.
I decided to make my own!! And MAN! They are the bomb.com! The key is using healthy fats found in coconut oil. Coconut oils are saturated fats that have MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which provide the perfect source of energy because they only have to go through a 3 step process to be turned into fuel vs. other fats that must go through a 26 step process!!!! These MCTs are:
- Easier to digest
- Not quickly stored as fat
- Are small in size which makes easier cell permeability for immediate energy
- Is processed by the liver, which means it is immediately converted to energy instead of being stored as fat
Another key ingredient is cacao. Cacao powder is known to have a higher antioxidant content than cocoa, and has been linked to a variety of benefits. Some of these benefits include:
- Lower insulin resistance
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduces your risk of stroke & cardiovascular disease
- Shields your nerve cells from damage
- Protects your body against toxins. As a powerful antioxidant, cacao can repair any damaged cause by free radicals & may even reduce the risk of certain cancers.
- Cacao increases the levels of particular neurotransmitters, which in turn boosts your mood and sense of HAPPY!
- Provides Magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, copper & manganese.
If you don’t happen to have any cacao, and really want to make this recipe NOW, you can substitute cocoa powder. You won’t miss out on taste, you’ll just miss out on all those powerful benefits that cacao can bring!
Finally….what makes it sweet??? Xylitol
Xylitol looks and tastes like sugar, but has fewer calories and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels. Several studies even suggest that it can improve dental health and have various other important benefits. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol which are like hybrids of a sugar molecule and alcohol molecule. Their structure gives them the ability to stimulate the sweet taste receptors on the tongue.
Word of caution: xylitol has been known to provide gastrointestinal upset in some individuals, especially if eaten in excess. The two small squares of chocolate I have each night do not cause me any discomfort whatsoever. This sweetener tends to garnish many opinions on its use. My doctor, who is a huge advocate for whole, organic foods, is someone that recommends using it in these chocolates. If it’s not right for you, fool around with stevia blends to find an amount sweet enough, without being bitter, for the chocolate instead.
Also, for pet owners….xylitol is very toxic to your pet’s systems. We have three fur babies in our home and make it a point to be diligent about how we eat this chocolate and to not drop ANY on the floor.
Lastly, you’ll want a chocolate mold to hold and shape your chocolate. I found THIS one at Hobby Lobby. It’s silicone with squares that are perfect for making these homemade chocolates.
So now that you have the basic rundown….let’s get going!
Here’s the basic ingredient list:
1/2 cup cacao (or 100% cocoa powder)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup xylitol – ground to powder*
Any additional items you’d like in your chocolate such as dried coconut, sea salt, or nuts!
- xylitol comes in a crystallized form, which in my opinion, is too big to blend properly for these chocolates. I use a clean coffee bean grinder and grind my sugar until it is a powder-like consistency.
In a saucepan, melt your coconut oil. Remove from heat source. Stir in the cacao until well blended. Next mix in the powdery xylitol and blend until evenly distributed.
Pour equal amounts of chocolate into each tray. Add any additional toppings you may want on each chocolate. Sea Salt is a must! Other ideas would be coconut flakes, various nuts, even extracts like peppermint to make your chocolate minty!
In order for the chocolate to harden, place on a level surface in the freezer. It will set within the hour. Remove each piece and store in an air tight container. At room temperature, the candies will soften again, therefore, it’s important to keep it in the fridge or freezer.
So what do you think? Let me know if you make them and what variety you like best!!!